Highlights: June 2020 MAC Meeting

June 15, 2020 by School of Medicine Webmaster

The School of Medicine’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) met on June 10, 2020 from 4-5 p.m. via Zoom. Here are highlights from that meeting:

Introductory Comments David S. Wilkes, MD│Dean

Dean Wilkes expressed gratitude to everyone for their perseverance during the past months. He thanked people for their heartfelt responses to his recent email.

The University is close to reopening for all students, with a Thanksgiving end to the semester. Research labs across the University are opening, and the School of Medicine will see post-clerkship students return on June 15 and clerkship students back on June 29.

Health Measures Related to Re-Opening Laboratories Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD│Senior Associate Dean for Research and Joshua Eby, MD│Medical Director, Employee Health

As of June 10, plans for 160 labs had been approved for re-opening. Building monitors have been assigned and Dr. Shupnik has begun meeting with them.

If additional staff are to be included after a plan has been submitted, the PI should add them to the personnel listings and lab schedule on the VPR’s website. Do not make any other changes, but note that this is a schedule change. Please remember that all activities that can be done remotely should continue to be done that way, and personnel who can telecommute should continue to do so.

Dr. Eby said that all COVID-related issues for employees, including students who are employees, are being handled by Employee Health. (Students who are not employed will be directed to Student Health.) Any employee with concerns can call Employee Health (924-2013), Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM. If there are symptoms, they will test the employee, who cannot return to work before test results are received; this may be up to two days.

Dr. Eby described the process for exposure evaluation. This process is posted on line at www.research.virginia.edu/research-ramp-toolkit. See the following sections:

– What to Do If You Develop Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
– What to Do If You Are Exposed to Someone Who Is Known Positive for COVID-19
– What to Do as a Supervisor/Manager If You Have an Employee or Student Confirmed

All new information on phases of research reopening will be continuously posted on the VPR web site on COVID-19; please check for updates.

Contractors and vendors who are in the buildings will be monitored according to UVA standards.

Faculty Time Away
Susan M. Pollart, MD│Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development

Dr. Pollart started by thanking the chairs for their work completing annual reviews and supporting faculty for academic advancement. Close to ninety faculty members are going up this year, which is over 10% of all assistant and associate professors!

Faculty annual leave is governed by the UVA Policy HRM-038: Faculty Leaves (see https://uvapolicy.virginia.edu/policy/HRM-038). Faculty with twelve-month contracts are granted 22 working days of leave per fiscal year. Unused leave lapses at the end of each fiscal year and may not be accumulated. However the policy allows for extensions of leave at the discretion of the “supervisor.” It is the department’s responsibility for monitoring annual leave for their faculty and ensuring equity in granting extensions while ensuring the work of the department will get done. Holidays are not counted against annual leave. Please reference HRM-038 and be in touch with Dr. Pollart if you have questions.

Health System Board Update
A. Bobby Chhabra, MD│President, UVA Physicians Group and Reid Adams, MD│Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Chhabra provided a brief overview of the June 4, 2020, Health System Board meeting. Due to COVID-19, this was a virtual meeting that was two hours instead of the usual four hours. The public sessions addressed the COVID-19 response, the ramp-up for bringing back patients, and the management of furloughs and the financial mitigation plans.

Dr. Adams shared the presentation he delivered to the board regarding the COVID-19 response. Innovation, team work, and real-time problem solving allowed the new bed tower to open well ahead of schedule. The tower provided 84 beds, including 56 negative-pressure rooms, allowing for an isolated COVID-19 treatment center that protected both patients and providers. UVA was the first in the state to set up a COVID-19 clinic (accomplished within 24 hours), and we now have four of these, including one in Culpeper.

Telehealth responded rapidly. In March, they had 3,081 encounters, and this grew to 25,940 in April. Telehealth allowed protected encounters with COVID-19 patients that enabled caregivers to take care of the patients while protecting staff and faculty and preserving PPE.

Investigators were involved in multiple clinical trials addressing COVID-19, including a national trial of remdesivir and a trial treating COVOD-19 patients with serum from recovered/convalescent COVID-19 patients.

Learners were protected by quickly converting classes, conferences, grand rounds, and other group learning activities to online formats.

UVA providers responded to community needs by testing 7,300 who were not affiliated with the University and were in high-risk, underserved communities. In collaboration with the UVA Lacy Student Experimental Center, portable test booths were developed and deployed, and UVA caregivers helped respond to outbreaks in area long-term care facilities, prisons, and nursing homes.

Dr. Adams expressed great apreciation for the support, compassion, and encouragement shown to UVA caregivers by our community, and he thanked the faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, community, and colleagues across the University for coming together.


The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 14, 2020, location TBD. 

Filed Under: Operations